Friday, July 07, 2017

Pre-Release Review: Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

HeartoftheSteal-fTitle ~ Heart of the Steal

Author ~ Avon Gale and Roan Parrish

Publisher ~ Philtre Press 

Published ~ 11th July 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.

As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.

When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?

Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.


Debra’s Review

The two MCs here are almost complete opposites in their upbringing and outlook. Amory Vaughn is a snob. He grew up the only child in a rich family and likes the finer things in life. He likes to be able to control things. William Fox grew up middle class with a twin sister and is an FBI Agent in the Art Crimes department. Amory sees the world in shades of gray while William sees things black and white.

The one thing Amory can’t buy is the happy ever after. He wants to share a life with someone, the wedding, the house, anything the man of his dreams could want and that man is Will. Amory is completely enamored with Will, cheap suit and bad flirting included, from their first meeting. After an unexpected rendezvous in the home gallery of the host of the party where they met, Amory makes a grand gesture by stealing the painting Will had admired and delivering it to his door with an invitation. Unfortunately, for Amory he is about to find out what Will does for a living. As Amory goes about trying to get Will’s attention Will tries to fight it. The first part of the story plays a bit of a cat and mouse game. Amory stealing paintings to get Will’s attention, Will telling Amory he wants nothing to do with him immediately before kissing him then pushing Amory away. When Will finally agrees to see where this thing with Amory could lead is when the story really gets going.

This is mostly a relationship-based story as the two try to make things work. And therein lies the main plot of the story – can these two with their vast differences, really understand what the other needs to make things work? They get along famously for the most part, but Amory has a habit of using his name and money to manipulate situations to his liking. Will does not like it, especially when Amory directs it towards Will’s life. Amory doesn’t really understand why his actions don’t sit right with Will, since Amory only sees is as making Will’s life better.

There is wonderful chemistry between the two men from the start as Will tries to push away the lust that is getting in the way of his anger and sense of right. There is dating and defining the relationship, meeting the family, and plenty of opportunities for scorching sex. Will is a bit awkward while Amory is smooth as silk. Amory speaks like royalty except in the bedroom where the dirty talk flies. But Will isn’t passive and when he turns the tables during a bit of role play, it turns into one of many tests of their relationship. There are also some incredibly sweet moments as Amory is a romantic at heart and delights in making Will smile, while Will is ready to jump into danger to save Amory whether it be from a chainsaw wielding maniac or musket fire.

I really did enjoy these two men walking in the unfamiliar territory of each other’s lives. The writing is wonderful, with both authors’ strengths shining through but coming together beautifully. The story is entertaining, sexy and ultimately quite romantic. I’m looking forward to any future collaborations these two authors may give us. One secondary character piqued my interest so perhaps one day we will get the story of a college-aged art forger with an eye for older men?

Purchase Links



Meet the Authors


avongale_thumbAvon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.



b&w author picRoan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.



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